Double Life – Stephanie Yue Duhem

“Dove” is not the plural of “dove,” my dear—

no, it is not like “deer.” Above, the clouds

part like us, skittish as hands.

You announce each breath of bluebonnet,  

each flush of cheek. I answer you with

silence, shelter my hair with my pink

mask. This is how I ask you

to my mouth—this cloth

that grazed my skin like skin. Now,

we won’t speak again. Now,

I will scrub your poems like vases

holding nothing.

Please—hold everything.

Your wife. Your children.

Your life.